Google’s new dongle, Chromecast, may see a UK launch next month – with electronics specialist Currys proposing a potential release as early as March 1.
Arriving in the U.S. last year, Chromecast represents the Californian search giant’s most recent attempt to incorporate apps and online videos onto users’ TV sets.
Google is aiming to present its vastly popular video-streaming network, YouTube, as a potential mainstream platform for accessing TV programmes and films – as well as the how-to clips, video blogs and other snippets of content that saw it rise to popularity.
The Chromecast device can be plugged into the HDMI port of a cable box or DVD player, connecting to a home’s Wi-Fi and allowing users to take control of their TV using their Android tablets or smartphones.
Additionally, the device provides access to the Internet through the TV, allowing users to keep abreast of news and trends, access social news feeds or carry out shopping on sites like eBay and Amazon.
In the U.S., the dongle works with Netflix and other video-streaming apps, as well as music software like Rdio.
Although Google hasn’t confirmed which apps will work with Chromecast here in the UK, the company recently opened up the hardware to third-party developers, widening its potential to host video content from new sources.
Apps compatible with the dongle will include a ‘Cast’ button; once pressed, it will relay content on to the TV, which will then reformat the display to make it suitable for a bigger screen. Further, some of the clutter found on the mobile app version will be removed when it makes the transition to the bigger screen – although whether this will include anything other than ads is yet to be confirmed.